In July 2006, Pittsburgh native Josh Cippel studied abroad in China and took along one of t-shirts. Here is Josh in front of the Great Wall of China, illustrating that love for the homeland never dies. (Is that too fascist? Oh well – viva la ‘burgh!) John is now wearing his I <3 PGH t-shirt as a student at Columbia Law School in NYC.

Thanks for the photos, Josh! They're awesome!! If anyone out there has any evidence of Pittsburgh love in far-away and/or interesting locales, please let us know. We would be happy to post them!

Take the bus … to Beaver County

Speaking of public transit, were you aware that Beaver County was chosen as the ‘American Idol’ of public transit? For the second time in its history, the Beaver County Transit Authority won the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Washington, D.C.-based American Public Transportation Association. This award is considered a once-in-a-lifetime honor.


According to the op-ed article from the PG:

“Ridership that soared 22.4 percent for the past three years is on track to grow another 9 percent in this fiscal year … far more than any other small or large state transit system …

“BCTA is the first recipient of a state Transit Revitalization Investment District grant, with ‘Elm Street’ residential and ‘Main Street; business components in Rochester, the hub of Beaver County. The epicenter of the development extending to a scenic bluff overlooking the Ohio River is its ‘Grand Central Station,’ a modern transportation center with a park-n-ride, up-to-the-minute electronic message board displaying bus arrival and departure times and convenient connections every half hour for paratransit and bus riders.”

A quick perusal of the BCTA website reveals that they even have a Steelers Express route. Good neighbors make for a good neighborhood. Go SWPA!

Here’s the full article:

Getting around: Beaver County chosen ‘American Idol’ of public transit
Sunday, June 11, 2006
by Joe Grata, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
[Read more…]

Updated PAT website

The Port Authority of Allegheny website has been updated and it’s soooooo much better than the old version. The trip planner appears on the first page, and you can now buy bus passes and tickets online. I like the fact that you can buy packages of 10 tickets, so you can always have some handy on your person whenever you get stuck in a pinch or you don’t have without correct change.

I know a lot of folks rag on the bus, but I just started working downtown, and I live minutes away from a bus route that takes me directly there. It beats $15 parking anyday. And it gives me time to listen to music, read a book and generally decompress after work. I’m a bus nerd.

By the way, the tickets and passes work for the incline and trolley too. I also found these helpful guidelines to follow if you choose to Rack’n’Roll! er … take your bike on your commute:

Here are some helpful and important guidelines to follow…
• Stand by your bike at the bus stop so the driver knows you intend to board.
• Tell the driver you’ll be loading your bike.
• Remove loose items like water bottles, pumps, etc.
• Load and unload your bike from the curb or in front.
• Place the wheels in the proper slots which are clearly labeled.
• Raise and secure the support arm over the top of the tire.
• Sit near the front of the bus.
• As you approach your stop, tell the driver you’ll be unloading your bike.

Commuting to work, getting to class, or taming the urban landscape is a lot easier when you don’t have to contend with Pittsburgh’s famous traffic, steep hills, tunnels and bridges. The following bus routes, which lead to some of the most popular destinations for bikers, are equipped with easy-to-use front bike racks that can hold two bicycles (two-wheeled, non motorized bike).

11D Perrysville
21A Coraopolis
54C North-Oakland-South Side
71A Negley
77D Highland-Friendship
77F Morningside-Friendship
77G Stanton Heights-Friendship
500 Highland Park-Bellevue

Article in The Economist about the ‘Burgh

Up alongside new elections in Thailand and the peace process in Burundi, the UK-based Economist magazine features a nice article about Pittsburgh. This is some nice ammunition to use when you meet some city naysayers …

“Among Pittsburghers 25-34 years old … 41.9% have graduated from university, placing the city among America’s top ten. More than 17% of those young people have also earned an additional graduate or professional degree: the fourth-highest share in the country, behind only Washington, DC (think lawyers), Boston and San Francisco.”

Thanks to Kevin for the tip. If you click on the link you have to watch an ad to see the full article … but shh, it’s also located below. Only the Economist could make the phrase “brutal arithmeticâ€Â? sound like a good thing:


How now brown town?

Sep 14th 2006 | PITTSBURGH
From The Economist print edition

A former steel city is now proclaiming its cleaner land and clever minds

A FEW years ago, the Pittsburgh region was so desperate to hang on to its brightest young people that its boosters thought about running television ads featuring “Border Guard Bobâ€Â?, a patrolman who would have stopped youngsters on their way out of town and urged them to stay. Wisely, the boosters scrapped that idea. And increasingly it seems as though the worries were misplaced anyway. Many of the graduates from Pittsburgh’s 34 universitiesâ€â€?led by Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburghâ€â€?do stick around, and some of them are finding work in cutting-edge scientific fields. A couple of decades after the collapse of the local steel industry prompted many Pittsburghers to flee, the city has a rosier future.
[Read more…]